Peter J Tuchin B.Sc., Grad.Dip.(Chiro), Dip.OHS
Objective: To assess the efficacy of Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) in the treatment of migraine.
Design: A prospective clinical trial of twelve months duration. The trial consisted of 3 stages: two month pre–treatment, two month treatment, and two months post treatment. Comparison of outcomes to the initial baseline factors was made and also 6 months after the cessation of the study.
Setting: Chiropractic Research Centre of Macquarie University.
Participants: Thirty two volunteers, between the ages of 20 to 65 were recruited through media advertising. The diagnosis of migraine was based on a self reported detailed questionnaire, with minimum of one migraine per month.
Interventions: Two months of chiropractic SMT at vertebral fixations determined by the practitioner, through orthopedic and chiropractic testing.
Main Outcome Measures: Participants completed diaries during the entire trial noting the frequency, intensity (visual analogue score), duration, disability, associated symptoms and use of medication for each migraine episode.
Results: The initial 32 participants showed statistically significant (p < 0.05) improvement in migraine frequency, VAS, disability, and medication use, when compared to initial baseline levels. A further assessment of outcomes after a six month follow up (based on 24 participants), continued to show statistically significant improvement in migraine frequency (p < 0.005), VAS (p < 0.01), disability (p < 0.05), and medication use (p < 0.01), when compared to initial baseline levels.
In addition, information was collected regarding any changes in neck pain following chiropractic SMT. The results indicated that 14 participants (58%) reported no increase in neck pain as a consequence of the two months of SMT. Five participants (21%) reported a slight increase, three participants (13%) reported mild pain, and two participants (8%) reported moderate pain.
Conclusion: The results of this study support the hypothesis that Chiropractic SMT is an effective treatment for migraine, in some people. However, a larger controlled study is required.